Give your holiday wardrobe a new season makeover with an Oriental-inspired kimono

It’s hard to remember a time when holiday wardrobes consisted of nothing more than a motley selection of denim shorts, T-shirts and a well-worn swimsuit.

The rising popularity of beach bars, pool parties and trendy boutique hotels means that not only have our summer getaways been upgraded but our packing has, too.

Kimonos have for several seasons been the accessory of choice for holidaymakers trying to improve their poolside posing ensembles. This season has seen the trend elevated even further with catwalk inspiration from Alexander McQueen, Maison Margiela and Loewe, houses which all presented their own take on the traditional Japanese robe.


That designers are looking to the Far East for inspiration is nothing new, but so rarely do such references get taken up with quite so much gusto by the masses; last year in the height of summer, high-street store New Look reported selling 40,000 kimonos a week.

The main appeal of a kimono is the ease factor – no need to navigate complicated straps and ties as with the past decade’s favourite beach cover up, the sarong. The kimono is effortless and versatile – two characteristics that are ideal for a holiday wardrobe; sling one on over a bikini by day, or wear with a dress when the temperature drops by night.  

Spare a thought for co-ordination with many styles coming in loud colours and bright prints that could border on garish, even in the most exotic of destinations. Styles that come with wide, obi-inspired belts to cinch in the waist serve as a further nod to the trend’s Japanese heritage and can pull a look together, even if it could pass for a dressing gown.